Roof heating cables Reviews
If the area you live in snows densely, then you are familiar with the effects of thick snow blankets and ice dams on roofs. The presence of dense ice on your roof causes significant structural damage to the roof, ceilings, and walls.
The weight of the snow is enough to affect the structural integrity of the roof. Also, the interior temperature of your house causes the lower layer of the snow to melt, leading to leakages.
Roof leakage caused by ice continues to worsen over time because the cold temperature of the ice above freezes the water already in the small holes. As water freezes, it expands, and so does the hole the water occupies.
Accumulation of snow on the roof also leads to the formation of ice dams, which then cause further leakage and gutter damage.
Traditionally, this snow was eliminated by the shoveling method, which takes time to complete and is also very tedious. Nowadays, there are more comfortable and efficient ways to get rid of the ice and snow on your roof. The best technique being the use of roof deicing cables.
This guide will focus on roof heating cables. We will evaluate their advantages, disadvantages, factors to consider when purchasing the cables and review some of the best deicing cables in the market.
Advantages of using deicing cables
They minimize water build-up behind ice dams
When installed properly, they work very well. They operate by melting the ice around them instantly. The space created in the areas where the ice has melted paves the way for the water behind ice dams to run off.
Although deicing cables melt the ice around them, it is essential to note that they don't prevent ice dams from forming. Instead, they clear a path, so the ice dams don't block the flow of the ice that's melting, therefore protecting your roof from ice accumulation.
They help to prevent structural damage to the roof
Ice weighs a lot! Accumulation of ice, especially when it gets a few inches thick, could cause severe damage to the roof.
Most roofs aren't designed to support the additional weight. They are merely built to cover and make the house look good. An ice blanket weighing a few tonnes might make the roof cave in. If the house itself is not structurally fit, the extra weight could bring the entire home down.
By melting the ice, heating cables prevent the over-accumulation of snow, thus keeping the extra weight on the roof at manageable levels.
Installing heating cables is cheaper than fixing the damage caused by ice dams
The leakages caused by the action of ice on your roof occur recurrently; hence you need to block the leakages from time to time. The water from this leakage also damages the ceiling and drywall, which might need replacement.
If the damage to your roof is too extensive, you might need to replace the whole roof. When you think of it, all these constant repairs and replacements cost a lot of money. Installing roof heating cables eliminates all these issues meaning you get to keep the money you would have otherwise spent.
Make your roof more durable
Heating cables take some of the roof-damaging factors out of the table. By melting off excess ice, they reduce the weight burden on the roof, preventing the cracking and caving-in of your roofing materials.
They also prevent roof leakages caused by the action of ice on your roof by preventing the build-up of water behind ice dams.
Disadvantages of using heating cables
They depend on electricity
According to DIY, heating cables use electricity to work. Power outages are synonymous with heavy snowstorms; hence your roof could still be damaged even if you have installed the heating cables.
They are a fire hazard
Heating cables need to be appropriately installed following set guidelines. Faulty installation might result in fire due to overheating or electrical short-circuit.
There have been instances where houses have burned down due to poor heating cable installation, which causes an electrical short-circuit igniting the roof.
The high cost of installation
Heating cables are quite expensive to install, especially if you have a big roof. The average price of installing heating cables is ranged around $600 to $900 for an averagely-sized roof. This cost is higher in houses with significant roofs.
Reviews of the best heating cables in the market
1. Easy Heat ADKS-100 20-Foot Roof Snow De-Icing Kit
This is a very versatile and efficient deicing cable that is available in different sizes to fit on roofs of all sizes.
They melt the ice around them, thus ensuring a clear path for melted water. By doing so, these durable deicing cables keep your roof edges, gutter, and downspout ice-free.
They come with all the necessary installation accessories like clips and mounting chips.
This heating cable comes with the manufacturer's warranty, thus ensuring long-lasting support from the manufacturer even after installation. They use approximately 5 watts of electricity per foot and are available in multiple roofing-material stores and hardware.
2. Frost King RC60 60 Feet, 120V, 5 Watts Per Foot, Electric Roof Cable
This heating cable made it to this list because it has a lot of unique features. They come with numerous accessories like a heating tap, pipe insulation system, mounting screws and clips to aid in installation.
They come in different lengths hence suitable for all sizes of roofs. They also come pre-assembled and with a setup guide included in the kit.
They require 120 volts and 300 watts to function; hence are compatible with any electrical grid.
Their availability on multiple sizes saves you money because you don't have to buy a longer cable than you need and money spent on extra cable. This feature makes it a very reliable heating cable.
3. Heat Tape Pro, Plug-In, Self-Regulating, Roof Heat Cable
This cable is a durable, heavy-duty deicing cable that offers long-term roof protection from the effects of ice dams.
They are self-regulating and come with a 120V plug-in feature that ensures efficiency. The cable is available in many sizes and weighs only two pounds.
The heating cable is made with 16-gauge wire for more durability and efficiency.
The self -regulating feature is a big plus since you don't have to keep turning the cable on and off repeatedly to prevent overheating and reduce energy consumption.
The cable is also light-weight; hence don't exert unnecessary extra pressure on your roof. The short electrical cable is a significant drawback for high roofs, but it is compatible with most roof sizes.
4. EasyHeat 2502 Freeze Free Heating Cable - 500
If you are looking for durable, energy-efficient supply and drain pipe cables, then these cables might just be the product for you. They save on energy by reducing their power consumption when the supply and drainage pipes don't require unfreezing.
They are compatible with both plastic and metal pipes and are available in a variety of sizes to fit even on longer pipes.
You don't have to purchase a separate heat plug since it comes included in the package. Their heating plug is waterproofed to ensure longevity and prevent electrical short-circuits. Also, they are automated to ensure they melt ice at any temperature.
They come in lengths of between 100 to 500 feet hence are suitable for most pipe lengths.
They weigh about four pounds; hence they don't exert too much pressure on pipes. Their self-regulation system not only makes them more efficient but also more comfortable to use as you don't have to do it yourself.
If you are planning on saving your money, then their power consumption protection feature will make you more interested.
5. WarmlyYours Snow Melting Cable, 43 ft. (10.7 sq. ft.)
From roofs, driveway-pavements, and asphalt, these heating cables can be installed anywhere you want. They come in different lengths; hence finding one suitable for your needs is easy.
They offer flexibility in terms of control, as you can choose to operate them either manually or automatically.
They are CSA certified hence are very safe. They also come with a 10-year warranty.
These heating cables come with very many attractive features that make them the best choice for use in outdoor applications like driveway and roof heating.
One of the best features of these cables is the automatic control system that ensures efficiency and ease of use. Check out the manufactures website for more details on these heating cables.
Factors to consider when buying roof deicing cables
Most issues associated with heating cables not being able to thaw ice arise from the installation of shorter-than-necessary cables, yet they come in lengths of between 20 and 240 feet.
Before purchasing a heating cable, make sure to check several factors like the length of your gutters, roof edge, number of valleys and downspouts, and the overhang of your roof.
Some online calculators and apps could help you determine the length of cable you need. You could also consult your contractor.
Heating cables consume a lot of energy. Once you install them, you have to make sure they are not on when it is not necessary. You can ease your burden of having to babysit the power outlet by buying cables that have a low watt-usage per foot.
You should note that the more energy a heating cable consumes, the more heat it produces; hence, the more its efficiency. You could, however, find more energy-efficient cables but they will cost you more.
Temperature and moisture sensor
You should consider purchasing a heating cable that has a temperature and moisture sensor. They cost more but are effective in reducing power consumption.
They work by testing temperature and moisture variables to determine whether to let or restrict current from flowing through the cables.
Roof Heating eating cables are an expensive investment, to get the most out of them, it is imperative to make sure they last long. Durable heating cables are waterproof and can withstand freezing temperatures without changing their level of electrical resistance or cracking.
How to install heating cables
When installing heating cables, it is best to hire a professional. It is, however, necessary for you as the homeowner to have an idea of how they are installed.
This video explains the things you need to do or avoid when installing your roofing cable. It also provides a step by step guide on how to install the cable.
After watching it, you will have everything you need to know about the installation process of heating cables and how to make them more efficient.
Living in an area that snows a lot has its fair share of perks and problems. Among the issues you have to deal with is the accumulation of snow, and the formation of ice dams on your roof. Heavy snow and ice dams have adverse effects on the state of your roof, both functionally and structurally.
Therefore, it is essential to take precautionary measures to ensure that your roofing system does not get damaged. As discussed earlier in the article, deicing cables offer the best solution. To get the most out of your heating cables and minimize energy consumption, you have to choose the most efficient heating cable suitable for your roof.
We have reviewed five of the best heating cables which you can purchase and avoid the hustle of searching from store to store. To make sure you buy the best product, consider the factors that we have given in this text.